Things are getting personal at the Marshall Student Center (MSC) Centre Gallery’s new exhibit.
The exhibit, which starts next week, will display personal secrets from USF students in recognition of the PostSecret phenomenon, a project created by Frank Warren that encourages people to let go of their deepest, darkest secrets by sending them away in anonymous postcards.
Every Sunday since January 2004, Warren has posted several on his site, postsecret.com, where visitors can read and relate to them. According to postsecretcommunity.com, a seperate site, the whole idea started with a dream.
“While I slept, I had an extraordinary dream that would change my life and eventually lead me to the PostSecret project,” Warren said on postsecretcommunity.com. “I had a lucid dream that night about the postcards I had purchased. Each one had been altered with messages written on their backs.
“The first message read, ‘unrecognized evidence, from forgotten journeys, unknowingly rediscovered,’ the second message was about a ‘reluctant oracle’ postcard art project and the last message I could not understand at the time.”
When Warren woke the next day, he tried to replicate the postcards as he had envisioned them. They soon blossomed into the project.
Warren tours the country and visits campuses and lecture halls to share his idea. He’ll speak at USF’s University Lecture Series (ULS) on February 23. In anticipation, ULS director Amy Bortzfield collaborated with Emma Hauser, director of public relations for the gallery, last semester about doing an exhibit.
The exhibit will display secrets and postcards from USF students. While gallery exhibits usually run for two weeks, the PostSecret exhibit will only run next week.
The exhibit opens Monday in MSC Room 2700 and continues next week, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Students have until Thursday to submit their secrets, but Hauser said they’re being lenient.
“We are actually going to have the confessional open throughout the whole exhibition because we feel that people would still want to come here and submit a secret during the week,” she said.
To submit secrets, students can go to stations around campus. The four main locations are in the Office of Student Programs, MSC Room 2306, the USF Bookstore and the Centre Gallery.
The confessional station at the gallery has magazines, scissors and examples for students to make cards.
Even though some students have already used the confessional, Hauser said she and the staff are not keeping tally of the secrets to keep it anonymous.
Molly Falter, a senior majoring in theater arts, said she was originally unfamiliar with the PostSecret project but loves the idea.
“I think it’s a good thing that he’s coming because it gives students the chance to get things off their chest,” she said.
Despite the touchy subject matter, she sees it as a good opportunity for USF students to connect.
“It can show the relationship between students, and people could feel accepted and feel close to somebody else,” Falter said.